There is an old legend the Abkhaz people like to tell to the visitors: When God gave each nation its place under the sun, the Abkhaz was too busy taking care of his guests so he came late and there was no land left for him. But God remembered the great hospitality of the Abkhaz so he gifted him the only place left where God himself wanted to live – the small region on the shores of the Black Sea.
My mother always told me stories about this magical place called Samtskhe Javakheti. She always said that the beauty of the land is like a mystical fairytale. Telling me about her first impression there, when her father took her when she was a child. Back then the entrance of Samtskhe-Javakheti was taken by the soviet army , so you had to have a certain pass to enter and because of the terrible road conditions that existed years ago, it took nine hours to drive, despite the fact, that the region was just 200 km away from the capital. Later it was her good friend Apostle Nicholas, she introduced me too. For me he was the reason the region still had Georgian identity. His life work of trying to built a good relationship between the two ethnic groups through religion and education, restoring and building churches and schools.
Vaziani, an estate of rundown tower blocks surrounded by mountains and broad acres, is situated just a 30-minutes drive off the gates of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. Vaziani settlement, constructed during the soviet era, served as accommodation for soldiers, stationed in a near-by military base, living there with their families. In the UdSSR military personnel and politicians were highly privileged. They were provided with adequate housing, received better salaries and were given priority in the distribution of luxury goods and supplies.
Postcards from Georgia is a project and a contemporary image of georgian regions and their typical materials. Georgia is a small country that has a big diversity in landscape, mentality and fabrics. The body of work condense one region in one image in their own aesthetic in postcard kind, photographed on a fabric or background. I create my own “postcards” of Georgia in posterformat 100×75 cm & 150×200 cm using the wallpapers. First station were the old city in Tbilisi and from there they are going as a wallpaper around the world.
January 1987. Night. In the mountainous Svaneti (Georgia) collapsed one after another devastating deadly avalanches. Killed about 30 people. Houses razed to the ground. Because of this tragedy, the government decided to give a new home to residents of Svaneti near Tbilisi. 70% Svan expressed a desire to leave their homes, their native land, which are in potential danger of avalanches.
Giorgi, documents the life of the city’s underground party scene of Tbilisi. He is part of the subculture and reflect it from the inside. It is the focus of much of his work. The photos from this period show Nebieridze’s closest friends among the fabric of the city and Georgia’s encroaching wilderness.
In present-day Georgia two separate generations live side by side: the aging seniors raised in the Soviet era; and today’s youth, who have grown up with heavy influence from Western culture. The more Georgia’s youth is influenced by the West, the more nostalgic older generations become for their Soviet roots.
On the 26th of December 1991 the Supreme Council made a decision about, the Soviet Union’s collapse. As a result of this, the Soviet Union’s 15 republics, including Georgia appeared to be independent.
With its length of 1,515 kilometres Kura (georgian: Mtkwari) is the longest river in the Caucasus region. It rises in Turkey, crosses Georgia and drains into the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan. With their work “Water without Salt” Arne Piepke and Ingmar Björn Nolting documented their journey along the river in Georgia – along the undefined borders of Asia and Europe. Their photographs tell stories about the daily life, the cultural and ethnical differences along the river and their personal encounters. They met farmers, unemployed people, former refugees, pensioners and an Imam – common people telling them about their life, their stories and dreams along Kura.
‘Tales of Lipstick and Virtue’ deals with the crossroads of gender, class, ethnicity and their interconnection to self representation as well as post-colonialism, authenticity and pseudo luxury.
The work consists of portraits in Albania and figurative fake-stills of brand imitations and counterfeit luxury out of the studio. Using methods of documentary, fashion and advertising photography, it is blurring the thin line between original and bootleg, truth and fiction, genuine and counterfeit.